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AUKUS as an Avenue for Tech Diplomacy Panel

AUKUS as an Avenue for Tech Diplomacy

On 7 May, ASPI DC’s program lead for Defense Industrial Base, Trade, Technology, and Innovation, Bronte Munro, led a conversation on AUKUS and tech diplomacy with Partner and Chair of The Asia Group’s Australia Practice, the Hon. Arthur Sinodinos AO, Partner and Lead of the Europe and Eurasia practice at Denton’s Global Advisor’s, Albright Stonebridge Group, Ambassador (ret.) Philip T. Reeker, and Minister Defence (Director USA) at the British Embassy in Washington DC, Mark Newton.

The conversation, which took place at the Special Competitive Studies Project (SCSP) AI Expo for National Competitiveness and alongside the Ash Carter Exchange, focused on AUKUS as an avenue for tech diplomacy. Tech diplomacy is the practice of collaborating across sectors and across countries to shape the role of technology in our lives and in our world. It is where the fields of business, technology and foreign policy intersect to effectively shape how technology is used.

Panellists highlighted how the industry- government collaboration that AUKUS requires offers not only a robust means for likeminded partners to accelerate innovation in emerging technologies to counter China’s technological advancements, but to ensure unified leadership in standards setting and best practice.

They also underscored the importance of understanding that securing high-tech involves not only being the leaders in its development, but in its commercialisation and the establishment of the rules and norms that govern its use cases. Tech diplomacy is key to building an ecosystem that supports commercialisation, builds trust in technology and protects national security interests. Critically, it requires collaboration between likeminded partners, such as Australia, the US and the UK.